Swaffham's young stars help community

A GROUP of youngsters are teaming up together to give something back to their local community in Swaffham.

A GROUP of youngsters are teaming up together to give something back to their local community in Swaffham.

Litter-picking, painting and tidying are among the tasks a group of 12 to 19-year-olds will be tackling as part of a new scheme pioneered by police and other agencies.

The Swaffham Team Activity Rebuilding Scheme - STARS - has been set up to tackle youth boredom will see the youngsters develop their skills in communication and team building, whilst improving the neighbourhood in which they live.

Eight youngsters with a record of antisocial behaviour have been selected for the programme, and they will be rewarded for their hard work with fun days such as paintballing, mountain biking and adventure activities.

Positive projects the youngsters will work on include clearing up Swafffham Cemetery and tackling litter and degradation at the Orford Road park and duck pond.

Swaffham PC Wendy Emmett said: 'We are looking forward to running STARS in the town as it will give young people the opportunity to put something back into their community.

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'Projects that will be carried out in the area include tidying up the town and helping to organise community events to increase neighbourliness. We hope that the youngsters will be proud of the positive work they will be undertaking in the Swaffham area.'

The scheme was launched in Swaffham on Friday when the group got together for the first time to take part in go-carting at Anglia Karting, North Pickenham

During the year-long scheme the participants will also have the chance to gain first aid and food hygiene qualifications.

Partners involved in the scheme include Swaffham Safer Neighbourhood Team, Iceni Partnership, Breckland District Council, Family Action as well as the Swaffham Town Mayor. Denmans Travel is also giving a discounted rate on transport costs for the activities organised by STARS.

Dennis Tallon from the Iceni Partnership said: 'We are proud to support such a great initiative and believe that it will be beneficial to both the young people and the wider community.'

Tracey Baxter from Breckland Council said: 'Breckland Council is keen to see positive activities for young people rolled out in the district, this coupled with community payback initiatives is a really great idea and is again another benefit of good partnership working.'

To contact Swaffham Safer Neighbourhood Team call 0845 456 4567 or e-mail sntswaffham@norfolk.pnn.police.uk